after the sickness By j. p. berame

after the sickness

countless warm baths
a single cold shower
today i learned
when the body gets sick
the heart gets sicker
and at times
the heart is a dead weight
pulling me under
making a proud descent
into the bottom of my loneliest lake
after a few days
it will rise to the surface
floating happy just to be in the ether
staring at cave ceilings
reaching out trying
to clutch the heavens
before sinking down again

all this cyclical lovely wonderful madness
i tread on
by God
i tread on

i refuse to stay under
no matter how magical
or how seductive
to stay away far far
from the familiar shore

i refuse to be enthralled
staring at the lights
all filtered into a beautiful
dancing turquoise

i refuse to lie and rest
with my back crushed
with the weight of my world
against this sedimentary floor

i refuse to continue to kiss
the ghostly luminiscence
the dark bright essence
at the bottom of the water

i do not know how to swim
but i refuse to be

i refuse to be the graveyard girl
i refuse to be the black and purple girl
i refuse to be the unlaughing girl

watch me undress
my sickness into
all the ethereal
all the light
all the beautiful

i am not my pain

i am possible.

By j. p. berame


j. p. berame is a 20-something poet/photographer/producer based in Manila, Philippines. Visit her at

2 thoughts on “after the sickness By j. p. berame

  1. This poem rises like a wave collecting all the inner depths, all the problems with the world then smashes down into dead white lilies for it. Such a rousing poem on the human spirit. We need to comment more on beautiful things and their are some killer lines in this.

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